Gulls extend win streak to 6 with win over Ontario
SAN DIEGO — Chris Wagner had a goal and two assists as the San Diego Gulls defeated the Ontario Reign, 4-3, Sunday in Ontario for their sixth consecutive victory following a five-game winless streak.
The Anaheim Ducks announced earlier Sunday they had reassigned Wagner, a center, and defenseman Shea Theodore to the Gulls, their American Hockey League affiliate.
Wagner opened the scoring with 28 seconds left in the first period when he took a pass off the boards from Andy Welinski and put a shot past goaltender Jack Flinn.
Wagner assisted on Antoine Laganiere’s goal 3:46 into the third period that gave the Gulls a 3-2 lead they never relinquished.
Kalle Kossila added an insurance goal for the Gulls (8-5-1-0) 6:32 into the third period before a crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena announced at 8,380.
Ontario coach Mike Strothers pulled Flinn for a sixth attacker with 2:00 to play. Vincent LoVerde scored from the right faceoff circle with 32 seconds left, but the Reign were unable to score the equalizer.
Ontario, the Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate, twice tied the score.
Jonny Brodzinski’s power-play goal 7:10 into the second period tied the score, 1-1.
The Reign (6-5-4-0) tied the score 2-2 1:56 into the third period as Michael Mersch’s shot from the point ricocheted off a pad of Gulls goaltender Dustin Tokarski into the path of T.J. Hensick who scored his sixth goal of the season.
Wagner also assisted on Kevin Roy’s team-leading seventh goal 15:04 into the second period that gave the Gulls a 2-1 lead.
Tokarski stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced for his second victory in two days, improving to 6-2-0-0.
Tokarski also got the victory in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Bakersfield Condors when he replaced an injured Matt Hackett and stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced over the final 38:16.
Hackett did not dress for Sunday’s game. He suffered what a Gulls official described as an upper-body injury during a flurry in front of the net on Saturday.
Kevin Boyle served as the Gulls backup goaltender, two days after being recalled from the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL as a precautionary move because of back-to-back road games, a team official said.
Flinn stopped 19 of 23 shots as his record fell to 1-2-1-0.
The Gulls killed four of Ontario’s five power-play opportunities and have killed 22 of 25, 88 percent, during the six-game winning streak, their longest in their two seasons in the AHL.
The Gulls were scoreless in three power-play opportunities and are zero for nine in their two games this season against the Reign.
The Gulls are 6-0-1 when scoring the first goal and 7-0-1 when leading after the second period.
Gulls right wing Stu Bickel and Ontario defenseman Kurtis MacDermid drew five-minute major penalties for their second-period fight, six seconds after Brodzinski scored to tie the score, 1-1.
Wagner and Theodore were both scratches for the Ducks 3-2 victory on Saturday at San Jose.
The 25-year-old Wagner scored two goals in his 19 games with the Ducks this season. He has played 71 NHL games over three seasons with the Ducks and Colorado Avalanche.
The 21-year-old Wagner has one assist in eight games with Anaheim this season. He has three goals and six assists in 27 NHL games over two seasons, all with the Ducks.
The Gulls will next play Wednesday against the Roadrunners at the Valley View Casino Center.